Takeover speculation for Commerzbank premature

There has been takeover speculation regarding Commerzbank for several years now. Such speculation has recently intensified. Rumours were given fresh impetus by the Cerberus investment in Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank, which also prompted a rise in the share prices.

Yet just how likely is a quick merger or takeover of Commerzbank?  The reasons against a takeover of Commerzbank or a merger with Commerzbank are varied. They stretch from restrictions on the transfer of customer deposits and shareholder equity within Europe, uncertainty as regards future regulation all the way to possible political resistance to the sale of a key financial intermediary for the German Mittelstand to a foreign buyer.

It must also be remembered that a takeover or merger would involve the acquisition of shares which are currently held by the FMSA. This purchase would have to be financed. Here, the institutions involved could not count on help from the ECB.

Overall, despite the speculation, a takeover of Commerzbank or a merger currently does not appear likely to me. History also shows that larger bank mergers, especially in Germany, do not clearly create value for shareholders. This is, amongst other things, due to the difficult and complex exploitation of potential cost synergies as well as the often underestimated complexity costs

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